Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Streets of Rage is a classic beat ’em up game series that was popular in the 90s. The series consists of three games: Streets of Rage, Streets of Rage 2, and Streets of Rage 3. Each game has its own unique features and gameplay mechanics, leading to much debate among gamers about which one is the best. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive comparison of all three games, analyzing their strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately determining which one reigns supreme as the best Streets of Rage game. Whether you’re a fan of the series or just looking to explore it for the first time, this article will help you make an informed decision on which game to play next.

Overview of Streets of Rage Series

History and Background

The Streets of Rage series is a trilogy of beat ’em up video games developed and published by Sega. The first game was released in 1991 for the Sega Genesis, with two sequels following in 1992 and 1994 respectively. The series was created by the legendary game developer, Yuji Naka, and was influenced by the popular beat ’em up game, Final Fight.

The series is set in a dystopian city called “Rage City”, where the player takes on the role of a police officer or a vigilante fighting against a corrupt government and various criminal organizations. The games are known for their fast-paced combat, intense action, and catchy soundtracks composed by Yuji Okamoto.

The Streets of Rage series was a commercial success and received critical acclaim for its innovative gameplay, engaging storylines, and memorable characters. The series has since become a cult classic and is still popular among retro gaming enthusiasts today.

Gameplay Features

Fighting System

The fighting system in the Streets of Rage series is a fundamental aspect of the gameplay. Players engage in hand-to-hand combat, utilizing punches, kicks, and special moves to defeat enemies. The characters have unique fighting styles, making each character’s gameplay experience distinct.

Weapons and Items

Weapons and items play a significant role in the Streets of Rage series. Characters can collect weapons such as pipes, knives, and baseball bats during gameplay. These weapons can be used to defeat enemies and enhance the character’s combat abilities. In addition to weapons, players can also collect items like health pickups, ammunition, and grenades to aid their progression through the game.

Vehicles and Environments

The Streets of Rage series features various vehicles and environments that add diversity to the gameplay experience. Players can control vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, and boats in certain levels. Each vehicle has its unique handling characteristics, providing a different gameplay experience. Additionally, the environments in the series are richly detailed, with different settings such as city streets, beaches, and industrial areas. These diverse environments offer distinct challenges and opportunities for players to explore and engage in combat.

Story and Characters

Plot and Setting

The Streets of Rage series is set in a dystopian metropolis called “Amy” that is plagued by crime and corruption. The player takes on the role of a cop, a martial artist, or a soldier, who is tasked with cleaning up the streets and taking down the criminal organizations that control the city. The story is told through a series of missions that gradually reveal the larger conspiracy at play.

Main Characters and Enemies

The main characters in the Streets of Rage series are the protagonist, a heroic character fighting against the corruption and violence in the city, and the antagonist, a powerful criminal mastermind who seeks to control the city’s criminal underworld. The protagonist is often a cop, martial artist, or soldier, while the antagonist is typically a wealthy businessman or gang leader.

In addition to the main characters, the series also features a variety of side characters, including police officers, civilians, and other criminals. The enemies in the series are a mix of generic thugs and more distinctive bosses, each with their own unique abilities and weaknesses.

Character Development and Arcs

The protagonist of the Streets of Rage series undergoes a significant transformation over the course of the game. At the beginning of the game, the protagonist is often inexperienced and outmatched by the city’s criminal element. However, as they progress through the game, they become more skilled and confident, eventually facing off against the antagonist in a climactic showdown.

The antagonist of the series, on the other hand, is often portrayed as a more static character. While they may have their own motivations and goals, they are primarily defined by their desire for power and control. However, some games in the series do offer a more nuanced portrayal of the antagonist, revealing their backstory and motivations in greater detail.

Overall, the character development in the Streets of Rage series is focused on the protagonist’s journey from inexperienced rookie to skilled warrior, while the antagonist remains a more static figure, driven primarily by their desire for power and control.

Comparison of the Three Streets of Rage Games

Streets of Rage (1991)

Graphics and Sound

Visuals and Animations
  • The visuals in Streets of Rage (1991) were top-notch for their time, featuring detailed character models and vibrant backgrounds.
  • The animations were smooth and fluid, adding to the overall polish of the game.
Sound Effects and Music
  • The sound effects in Streets of Rage (1991) were well-designed and added to the immersion of the game.
  • The music was composed by Yuji Okano and was considered one of the best video game soundtracks of the time.

Gameplay and Difficulty

Controls and Mechanics
  • The controls in Streets of Rage (1991) were tight and responsive, allowing for precise movements and actions.
  • The mechanics were well-designed and allowed for a seamless gaming experience.
Challenges and Obstacles
  • The game had a good balance of challenges and obstacles, keeping the player engaged and interested.
  • The difficulty level was considered moderate, making it accessible to both casual and experienced players.

Story and Characters

Plot and Characters
  • The plot of Streets of Rage (1991) was well-developed and featured a compelling storyline.
  • The characters were well-designed and added depth to the game’s narrative.
Impact on the Series
  • Streets of Rage (1991) had a significant impact on the series and set the standard for future installments.
  • It is considered a classic and a must-play for fans of the genre.

Streets of Rage 2 (1992)

  • Streets of Rage 2 boasts improved visuals and music over its predecessor, with better animations, smoother character designs, and more detailed backgrounds.
  • The game also features voice acting and cutscenes, which add depth to the story and provide a more immersive experience for players.
  • The gameplay in Streets of Rage 2 has been refined and balanced, with new features and enemies added to challenge players.
  • The pacing of the game has been improved, with a better distribution of difficulty levels and a more varied array of environments to keep the gameplay fresh.
  • The story in Streets of Rage 2 has been expanded, with a larger cast of characters and a more complex plot.
  • The game features character development and resolution, with a greater emphasis on storytelling and character relationships.

In terms of graphics and sound, Streets of Rage 2 surpasses its predecessor with improved visuals and music, as well as the addition of voice acting and cutscenes. The gameplay has been refined and balanced, with new features and enemies added to challenge players, and the pacing has been improved for a more enjoyable experience. The story and characters have also been expanded and developed, making Streets of Rage 2 the most well-rounded game in the series.

Streets of Rage 3 (1994)

  • Final evolution of visuals and music: Streets of Rage 3 represents the culmination of the series’ visual and auditory style. The game features advanced graphics for its time, with detailed character models and vibrant environments. The music, composed by Yuji Okano, is a fusion of electronic and orchestral elements that complements the game’s action-packed sequences.
  • Final voice acting and cutscenes: Unlike its predecessors, Streets of Rage 3 incorporates full voice acting and cinematic cutscenes, which add depth to the story and characters. The game’s voice cast includes professional actors such as John Rhys-Davies, who portrays the character of Axel’s father, and Deborah ‘Lady Bo’ Smith, who voices Blaze Fielding.

  • Refined mechanics and enemies: The gameplay in Streets of Rage 3 refines the mechanics of its predecessors, offering smoother controls and more varied enemy types. The game introduces new weapons and items, such as the Laser Pistol and the Heart Beat Gun, which add variety to the combat system. Additionally, the game features an improved cooperative multiplayer mode, allowing two players to team up as Axel and Blaze.

  • New weapons and items: Along with the returning weapons from the previous games, Streets of Rage 3 introduces several new ones. The Laser Pistol, for instance, fires powerful laser beams that can take down enemies quickly. The Heart Beat Gun, on the other hand, shoots heart-shaped projectiles that cause damage over time. These new weapons add a layer of strategy to the gameplay, encouraging players to experiment with different combat styles.

  • Conclusion to the series: Streets of Rage 3 serves as the final chapter in the trilogy, providing a conclusion to the overarching story. The game’s narrative focuses on the confrontation between the protagonists and the villainous Mr. X, who has returned with a new plan to conquer the city. The storyline brings together various plot threads from the previous games, offering a satisfying resolution to the series.

  • Impact on the franchise: Despite being the last game in the original trilogy, Streets of Rage 3 has had a lasting impact on the franchise. The game’s success led to the development of several spin-offs and reboots, including Streets of Rage: Legacy, a mobile game released in 2013. Additionally, the game’s soundtrack has become iconic, with the music continuing to be featured in various retro game compilations and tribute albums.

Comparing the Games

When comparing the three Streets of Rage games, it’s clear that the series underwent significant improvements in both graphics and sound as the franchise progressed.

  • Technical improvements and evolution: Streets of Rage 2 and 3 boasted smoother animations, more detailed backgrounds, and more diverse environments than the first game. Additionally, the games featured more colorful and varied palette, making them more visually appealing.
  • Favorite soundtracks and visuals: The music in Streets of Rage 2 and 3 was widely considered to be among the best in the genre, with a strong emphasis on catchy melodies and a synth-heavy soundtrack. In contrast, the music in Streets of Rage 1 was more atmospheric and less memorable. The visuals in Streets of Rage 2 and 3 also featured more varied and detailed character designs, making them more engaging for players.

In terms of gameplay and difficulty, the Streets of Rage series remained largely consistent throughout its three installments. However, there were some notable changes and updates across the series.

  • Changes and updates across the series: Streets of Rage 2 introduced new weapons, enemies, and levels, as well as the ability to play as two different characters. Streets of Rage 3, on the other hand, focused more on refining the gameplay mechanics and providing a more challenging experience for experienced players.
  • Opinions on difficulty and challenge: While all three games in the series were known for their challenging gameplay, some players felt that Streets of Rage 3 was the most difficult due to its increased challenge and refined mechanics. However, others felt that Streets of Rage 2 struck the perfect balance between challenge and fun.

When it comes to the story and characters in the Streets of Rage series, opinions are mixed. While each game features a unique narrative, some elements are shared across the series.

  • Strengths and weaknesses of each game’s narrative: Streets of Rage 1 features a straightforward story that focuses on the protagonist’s quest to take down the criminal syndicate that killed his police officer brother. Streets of Rage 2 expands on this story by introducing new characters and a more complex plot, while Streets of Rage 3 takes the story in a new direction by introducing a new protagonist and exploring the origins of the Syndicate. While each game’s narrative has its strengths, some players feel that Streets of Rage 2’s story is the most engaging and well-developed.
  • Impact on the Streets of Rage universe: The story and characters in each game have a significant impact on the Streets of Rage universe. For example, the events of Streets of Rage 2 and 3 have a direct impact on the story and characters in the sequel, while the events of Streets of Rage 1 are referenced throughout the series. Additionally, the characters in each game are designed to be unique and memorable, with their own distinct personalities and motivations.

FAQs

1. What is Streets of Rage?

Streets of Rage is a beat ’em up video game series developed and published by Sega. The series consists of three games: Streets of Rage (1991), Streets of Rage 2 (1992), and Streets of Rage 3 (1994).

2. What platforms can I play Streets of Rage on?

Streets of Rage is available on various platforms including Sega Genesis, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, PC, PlayStation, and Xbox.

3. Which is the best Streets of Rage game?

All three Streets of Rage games are considered classics and have their own unique qualities. However, Streets of Rage 2 is often considered the best in the series due to its improved graphics, soundtrack, and gameplay mechanics compared to the first game.

4. What is the storyline of Streets of Rage?

The storyline of Streets of Rage revolves around the protagonist, police officer Adam Hunter, who is on a mission to clean up the streets of a crime-ridden city. In each game, the storyline progresses as Adam faces new challenges and enemies.

5. Can I play Streets of Rage online?

Streets of Rage games are not available to play online. However, there are various emulators and online platforms where you can play the games using a PC or mobile device.

6. How long does it take to complete Streets of Rage?

The length of time it takes to complete Streets of Rage depends on the game and the difficulty level. On average, it takes around 4-6 hours to complete the first two games, while Streets of Rage 3 is slightly longer at around 6-8 hours.

7. Are there any cheats for Streets of Rage?

Yes, there are cheats available for Streets of Rage games. These cheats can be activated by entering specific codes during gameplay. However, using cheats may disable achievements and can make the game less enjoyable.

8. Is Streets of Rage multiplayer?

Streets of Rage games are not multiplayer. The games are designed for single-player only.

9. What is the age rating for Streets of Rage?

Streets of Rage games have an ESRB rating of “T” for Teen. The games contain violence, mild language, and suggestive themes.

10. Is Streets of Rage worth playing today?

Yes, Streets of Rage is definitely worth playing today. The games have stood the test of time and are still considered classics in the beat ’em up genre. They offer a fun and challenging experience for players of all ages.

Ranking EVERY Streets Of Rage Game From WORST TO BEST (Top 5 Games)

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